The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 5-19

News and Analysis from Catholic World Report

Pope Francis attends the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 18, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Synod and the Media: Culpable Naïveté or Shrewd Calculation? The disastrous mid-term relatio seeded confusion, conflict, and lingering bitterness at every level of the Church. But the synod itself was only Act One. By Russell Shaw | Analysis

After the synod: Questions remain, looking ahead to next year. By Mary Jo Anderson | The CWR Blog

Cardinal Kasper apologizes for remarks about Africans; says he is victim of “shameful” attacks.  German prelate to “If one of my remarks about Africans was perceived as demeaning or insulting, then I am honestly sorry.” By Catherine Harmon | The CWR Blog

Development of Doctrine or Change in Teaching? Can Church doctrine change over time? Could so-called “same-sex unions” one day be seen as a legitimate development of the Church’s teaching on marriage? By Eduardo Echeverria | Analysis

The Tyranny of “Mercy”: How Cardinal Kasper’s pastoralism would harm women and children. By Michael Matheson Miller | Analysis

Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” is “a significant improvement over the text of the ‘Relatio post Disceptationem'”: On attempts by some bishops to change Church teaching: “In my judgment, a false notion of the relationship of faith and culture underlies the agenda.” By Carl E. Olson | The CWR Blog

Francis beatifies Paul VI: “This great Pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle” [Full text] | The CWR Blog

“Moments of consolation and temptation”: Francis’ address at the conclusion of the synod [Full text] | The CWR Blog

Cardinal Burke to CWR: confirms transfer, praises pushback, addresses controversy over remarks by Cardinal Kasper: “It is profoundly sad and scandalous that such remarks were made by a Cardinal of the Church.” By Carl E. Olson | The CWR Blog

Message of the Synod of Bishops on the pastoral challenges to the family [Full text] | The CWR Blog

“I Hate Divorce”: The prayers and readings of the Divine Office offer some clear messages appropriate to issues being discussed at the Synod. By Father Joseph Fessio, SJ | The CWR Blog

Cardinal Pell: “We’re not giving in to the secular agenda; we’re not collapsing in a heap.” The former Archbishop of Sydney says Cardinal Kasper’s proposal is a “stalking horse” meant to open the door to “even more radical measures” By Carl E. Olson | The CWR Blog

At the Synod: Circling Wagons: As the synod approaches its end, the language group reports are released. By Mary Jo Anderson | The CWR Blog

Abp. of Minsk: “The modern world is playing its music but we can’t dance to it.” Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz on the synod, the relatio, and the faith of Christians in post-Soviet Belarus. By Alessandra Nucci | The CWR Blog

At the Synod: Corrections and New Committee Members By Mary Jo Anderson | The CWR Blog

Card. Kasper denies he gave interview. Journalist posts recording of interview. The German prelate insists, “I never said such a thing about Africans…” But the evidence says otherwise. By Carl E. Olson | The CWR Blog

An Extraordinary Synod—In More Ways Than One: There is nothing very courageous about offering “pastoral” recommendations that fail to challenge a world that still bears the scars of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. By Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, SVD | Analysis

Cardinals Kasper and Dolan and the African bishops: Two interviews, two different takes. By Catherine Harmon | The CWR Blog

The “Relatio” and the Rights of Children: The mid-term report issued by the Synod directly contradicts and undermines what the CDF has said about children being raised by homosexual couples. By Bill Maguire | The CWR Blog

At the Synod: After the “Earthquake,” Questions and Clarifications: Liberal journalists fixate on issue of homosexuality, while pro-life press wants clear language reiterating Church teaching. By Mary Jo Anderson | The CWR Blog

Cardinal Burke: Synod’s mid-term report “lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium”: The Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura says that a statement from Pope Francis “is long overdue.” | Interview

Having Patience for the Sausage-Making Synod: One of the great mysteries enshrined in the ecclesiology of the Catholic Church is that Christ speaks through the rather messy and unpredictable process of ecclesiastical argument. By Father Robert Barron | Interview

Abp. Gądecki: Synod document departs from the teaching of John Paul II and succumbs to anti-marriage ideology: Relatio “focuses on exceptions, but what is needed is the proclamation of truth.” | The CWR Blog

My Question for the Synod: Where’s the Sacrifice? By Alan L. Anderson | The CWR Blog

The Midterm Report: The Divorce Over Divorce: The just published “Relatio” includes some troubling language that will likely be misused or bludgeoned by many in the media. By Mary Jo Anderson | The CWR Blog

Card. Burke to Raymond Arroyo: Card. Kasper’s proposal demanded “a strong response”: Discusses the support for Kasper’s proposal, the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” and the “Orthodox option”| The CWR Blog

Some Scattered Thoughts on the Synod So Far: Another winsome, handsome, and latesome (is that a word?) edition of “Carl’s Cuts”! By Carl E. Olson | The CWR Blog

Watch: Cardinal Napier on Communion and polygamy: “If people in Europe who have remarried…are engaged in successive polygamy, why can’t a simultaneous polygamist have the same advantages?” By Catherine Harmon | The CWR Blog

Cardinal Burke: Christ’s truth is at the heart of marriage: “It is only in the family that the true sense of who we are as man and woman is taught effectively both by the example of the father and mother.” | Interview

President of Ignatius Press: “It’s time for the full Gospel of the Family”: “The New Evangelists of the JP2 Generation,” says Mark Brumley, “will tell you that with all due respect to Cardinal Walter Kasper, he isn’t the only one who can speak about the situation ‘on the ground.'” By Carl E. Olson | The CWR Blog

Pope Francis to synod: Be humble, clear, and frank: As the Synod on the Family opens, Pope Francis calls on bishops to be humble so as “to better nurture and tend the Lord’s vineyard.” By Catherine Harmon | The CWR Blog

Four Suggestions for Those Following the Synod: The central task of the Synod on the Family is to evangelize and proclaim the truth and beauty of her teachings concerning the human person, human sexuality, marriage, and family. By Bill Maguire  |  Essay

True Mercy and the Indissolubility of Marriage: In his foreword to a new book, Cardinal George Pell argues that “one cannot maintain the indissolubility of marriage by allowing the ‘remarried’ to receive Holy Communion.” By Cardinal George Pell  |  Book Excerpt

An American Couple Prepares for the Synod: Alice and Jeff Heinzen of Wisconsin are the only American couple attending the upcoming Synod of Bishops as auditors. By Jim Graves  |  Interview

Spinning the Synod: Here are five misleading claims and skewed statements about the upcoming Synod of Bishops. By Carl E. Olson  |  Editorial

Marriage, Communion, and the Teachings of the Church: Two of the contributors to the book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church, discuss the Scriptural, historical, and theological foundations for Catholic doctrine.  |  Interview

Kings and Popes Playing with Fire: The mere expectation of a change to Church teaching is damaging because it creates, or reinforces, the idea that doctrine is a political plaything. By Dr. Adam A.J. Deville  |  The CWR Blog

The Synod and the Real Crisis of Marriage: The debates over divorce, remarriage, and receiving Communion must not distract from other formidable challenges. By Russell Shaw  |  The CWR Blog

Archbishop Kurtz: Synod can be “a catalyst” for renewal: USCCB president Archbishop Joseph Kurtz will represent the US at the upcoming Synod of Bishops. The urgent challenges facing families—and how the Church can serve families better—will be the synod’s top priorities, he says. By Jim Graves  |  Interview


What is Love? The question that has guided Church discussions for decades will likely guide discussions at the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family. By Fr. Dan Pattee, TOR  |  The CWR Blog

Is Pope Francis upset about an Ignatius Press book? Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, responds to claims and complaints made by Cardinal Walter Kasper.  |  The CWR Blog

If you aren’t already reading Edward Peters on annulments…. By Catherine Harmon  |  The CWR Blog

Cardinal Martino: the Synod will “reaffirm what the Church has always said about the family.” “I believe that the Synod will be an opportunity to throw down the challenge – the Church’s traditional teaching on the family will be made clear.” By Carl E. Olson  |  The CWR Blog

Cardinal Mueller’s book-long interview emphasizes indissolubility of marriage: “The Hope of the Family” (Ignatius Press) responds to mistakes in understanding marriage in society.  |  The CWR Blog

Love, Sin, and the Synod: Thoughts on the instrumentum laboris and the challenge facing the bishops this October. By Alan L. Anderson  |  The CWR Blog

The Confounding and Curious Pontifications of Cardinal Kasper: Is the German prelate and theologian promoting a book on mercy or pushing a dubious agenda at the expense of fellow bishops? By Carl E. Olson  |  The CWR Blog

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